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The Ingredients that You Should Always Have in Your Kitchen

There are ingredients that I always have in my kitchen, because they get me out of trouble again and again. They are versatile ingredients, that last longer and therefore do not spoil quickly.

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So, I always have them in the fridge to make my life easier.

I’ll tell you what these ingredients are and how I use them in the kitchen:

  • Cauliflower: This is the best time to get it. I prepare it on the barbecue or in the oven. Put olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh coriander, if you have. But also in a stir-fry or mash it’s great. The orange and yellow ones are delicious. Try them and always have one in the fridge, it lasts up to two weeks and if you get any stain on the cauliflower, cut it before cooking.
  • Carrots: They are healthy, crispy and sweet, I love to have them in my kitchen. Use them in a juice, grated in a salad, sauteed, in a stew, roasted with oil, garlic, salt and pepper or turn them into puree. Buy them fresh, firm, not dry, or open. They usually survive perfect in the fridge for one or two weeks. Heirloom are my favorite and never buy them pre-cut.
  • Sweet peas: I love them in sautéed chicken or pork, in stews and in tuna salad. Getting them fresh is complicated, so I always have a bag of organic peas in my freezer. Seal it well after opening it. They last up to more than a month but check the expiration date and make sure they do not ice frost, as they dry out and change their flavor, color and texture.
  • White or red onion: They add a special touch to any dish. The secret is to sauté them well in olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper and that they are the basis of any recipe or even the final touch, like adding them to any protein at the top. They can last a month or more in the fridge. Always have them available in you kitchen.

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  • Potato or pumpkin (auyama): At the right temperature and humidity, they could last up to more than a month in the fridge. It can get us out of trouble at any time, whether in soup, fried, mashed, roasted, or in a stew.
  • Roasted peppers: Fresh peppers have a short life, but the roasts ones that are preserved can last up to a year. I love piquillos, they are a Spanish variety that are also grow in Italy, California and Peru. They are sweet, tasty and can be added to a salad, sandwich, sautéed, for a dip mixed with Greek yogurt or mayonnaise, a sauce for a pasta and even to accompany the fish, chicken, pork or meat. Heat olive oil, sauté garlic slowly, then add the peppers (without the water), salt, pepper and stir-fry slowly for 8-10 minutes. Finish with parsley or cilantro. You will remember me, because even on bread will be memorable.
  • Fresh garlic: They fix our lives, as long as they exist, with them I eat everything.
  • Moroccan Couscous: It cooks in 5 minutes, you can add any spice, it fills a lot, it helps so that we do not eat much, it is healthy and lasts a lot in your kitchen.


Doreen Colondres is a celebrity chef. Author of the book The Kitchen Doesn’t Bite. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram @DoreenColondres and visit www.LaCocinaNoMuerde.com , www.TheKitchenDoesntBite.com or buy her book on Amazon or iTunes.

About Doreen Colondres

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Doreen Colondres is a tireless world traveler with a fresh and charismatic vibe. Her mission is to convince us that cooking is a heritage and a tradition that is fun, relaxing, easy, romantic, but more importantly, healthy. Her background of family cooking values motivated her to create La Cocina No Muerde and The Kitchen Doesn’t Bite. Doreen’s first book was published by Random Penguin House (2015) achieving the #1 best seller regional and international and she is also the food and wine editor for more than 10 Hispanic publications. She frequently hosts cooking segments on “Despierta América” from Univision and hosted cooking shows on FoxLife/Utilísima, airing in 16 countries for 4 years. Since 2013 Doreen is also a Chef for Novo Nordisk pharmaceutical, a leader in diabetes care. Yearly, she hosted more than 30 live cooking shows around the US, to increase awareness about obesity and diabetes. In 2013 she became the first Hispanic Celebrity Chef for the Bordeaux Wine Council, the most prestigious wine region in the world. She studied in culinary schools in NY, CA, graduated in FL and also has a BBA in Business & Marketing.

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